Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This time with two

My husband was gone for 5 days this weekend. It was quite the.... something for us, since my mom hadn't even been gone a week when he left, it was sink or swim with me for with two kids. And sinking was not an option. By the end it took all our energy just to keep our mouths above the water, but thats what happens with utter exhaustion. Unfortunately we got off to a rocky start, I still have plenty of postpartum hormones in me, or lack there of, I guess its the lack of hormones that create the postpartum problems, so I cried with my husband left, which I'm sure it made it hard for my boy. Plus my husband left a little later than planned, which means my son took a really late nap, he didn't even want a nap, but I did, and he said he would rather nap than play while I napped. My girl only ever lets me nap for 20 minutes before she decides she needs more food but whatever. The late nap created a late bedtime, which set a bad habit. You may recall Thursday night already.
My little brother came to help us, Friday night, through Sunday morning, so it was nice to have someone else put the boy to bed for night and naps. Plus I got a short break to run to a few stores without children on Saturday, I'm sure it made it possible for the rest of Sunday through Tuesday afternoon.
Saturday night my son decided he had about enough of daddy being gone, and kept me up until midnight. I tried everything, we even made a daddy collage of pictures on the wall by his bed. Which insistently did seem to work because the rest of the nights he spent sometime looking and talking to the pictures about daddy. This is the first time his dad has been gone that I didn't let him sleep in my bed, I was afraid to have two children up at 2:30 am instead of one. Finally after midnight, I couldn't take it any longer. I was so exhausted and I was holding the baby while I laid in the boy's bed. Finally I left telling him I would leave both of our doors open so it would be like our beds were in the same room (our doors are a whole foot and half apart). Which meant I was still very worried the infant was going to wake up the toddler, which meant I fed the infant every time she made noise, at least twice as much. So not only was I tired from waking up more often I was more physically spent by feeding my child more often.
Sunday wasn't too bad, except for my son's lack of nap, and his apparent regression from change causing a lack bowel movements in the toilet. (I consider him potty trained but at the same time, I won't be surprised if he still has accidents at least until he is five.) Some might have thought this would have happened a month ago when his sister showed up on the scene not when she nearly a month old. Whatever my son likes to be himself. Life goes on, I'm already doing a ton of laundry whats a few extra loads of dirty pants. He is the one that has to live with the guilt trips from his parents. I hated guilt trips when I was growing up, I thought they were a terrible parenting technique. Then I became a parent and realized short of corporal punishment sometimes guilt trips are the only disciplinary measure out there. From what I read potty training is even less effect with spanking.
Sunday night without naps life started to get real tiring. I think I personally could have last more days than my husband was gone, but my kid was having such a hard time, and his sleep boycott really made it challenging for me, since I had a newborn to care for. Luckily I distracted us by making a drum out of the old cashew container. We had jamming good time. My son told me to sing songs, while he either, banged on the drum, played his harmonica or played his new years eve horn (the great thing about the horn was he can't get it to make noise, so he just makes a noise he thinks horns make). He keeps pretty good beat. When I told my husband about our music fest he ask, if I told him to "drop a beat." I sadly I said no, but I do think on a occasion. When I said no, he said well thats ok he didn't need to drop a beat, because he is good at keeping time. I got the kid to bed, about about two hours later than he should of, unfortunately his wake up time was unchanging, but at least it was two hours before midnight.
Monday I needed out of the house, and N-babe needed diapers so we packed up. Making our first adventure to the store with just me and two kids. I wasn't really sure what was the best method of getting the kids out of the car, the infant and the carseat first, or the toddler first. I picked the young one first, because she can't run in front of cars. The shopping trip only took two hours (sarcasm, I couldn't believe how long it took). Not to mention we ended up with way too much stuff! Like a wall-e sweatshirt for my son. Why my son is so obsessed with a movie he doesn't even sit through is beyond me. He wanted the Lighting McQueen shirt but it wasn't it in size. He now has a wall-e toy, the movie, and a sweatshirt that lights up.
Once again I could not convince him to take a nap, but he did play in his room while I took a nap. And once again the baby did not let me sleep more than 20 minutes, but my son stayed in room longer because I faked like I was a sleep after the baby woke me up. The boy stared at me for about two minutes while I kept my eyes closed, during which time my nose became itchy, until he went back in his room and shut the door. By the time he left I had forgotten about my nose.
Life got real challenging because I was getting more worn out as my kid wore himself out. My son became more and more whinny has the hours went on, which meant if he started crying, inevitably so did the baby. And if the baby was crying and I was trying to take her, inevitably so did the toddler, because he wasn't getting attention. Not to mention I didn't get any me time, because my son wasn't taking naps and he was going to bed about 5 minutes before me. And the little bit of time he did spend it his room, I was either sleeping for caring for the wee one. I am a mother who needs her own time, so I don't yell at my kids. It became more and more challenging not to yell at a kid that was crying because of stupid things like no yellow spoon. I think I only yelled once and I quickly repented then repented that night too. I'm really trying to follow Elder Bednar's advice
(Principle #1. Prayer becomes more meaningful as we counsel with the Lord in all our doings ... After expressing appropriate thanks for blessings received, we plead for understanding, direction, and help to do the things we cannot do in our own strength alone. For example, as we pray, we might:
  • Reflect on those occasions when we have spoken harshly or inappropriately to those we love the most.
  • Recognize that we know better than this, but we do not always act in accordance with what we know.
  • Express remorse for our weaknesses and for not putting off the natural man more earnestly.)
Monday night I decided we should have family home evening even without a dad, even though I had no desire too. We sang some songs, I mean I sang some songs to my children. Which incidently the baby seemed to really enjoy. Luckily she smiled at me on Monday for the first time, so that made it a little easier to get through the day. After which I bathed my kid, because he was obviously getting a little fragrant with his current regression.
Tuesday morning was getting REALLY challenging. I don't know if its because I finally got so tired I hit the wall or if my son got so tired he was incapable of not whining, or if its because we knew there was an end in sight. My plan was to bath the baby, clean the house (put away the toys scattered everywhere), and then watch a movie before naps. We got the baby bathed, but decided it was in everyone's best interest if we ignored the mess, and watched a movie. I like to have the house clean for my husband, but it wasn't happening. I at least got all the toys out of my room, which made me happy. Luckily my husband surprised us and came home a few hours early, which meant the boy got a nap, and I didn't have to put him down while trying to keep the baby happy. Normally she is ok for about a half an hour, but with bedtimes taking an hour or more, there is only so much time she wanted to spend in her brother's bed.
You would think after 5 years of my husband suprising me by coming home early, I would start to expect it. I never do though, I don't know if is because I expected it and it didn't happened I might not be able to handle it or, if its because all those scout trips where he definitely never came home early, or if its because when my husband says, we just past such and such, I really believe him. Who knows, the surprises are good.
Last night was fantastic, it was so nice to shower without worrying about the children. The boy was in bed by nine, and I was in bed by ten, baby already fed, and she only woke up twice from 10 pm to 7:30 am. My husband was in bed by about 30 seconds after the boy.
Today I restricted my son's blanket time, he misused it while he dad was gone, by not taking naps. I know some kids out grow naps by this age, but considering my child can go a week without crying if he is well rested, I always know if there is too much whining there is not enough sleep. It now disappears in the morning until nap time, and disappears after naps until bed. So far so good. We woke up at 7:30, which is quite a bit earlier than lately, but it was nice to see the Dad before he left for work. My son got tired around noon, and he was in his bed before 1. I didn't hear any books being dropped (a sign he is reading) after I left, nor did I hear toys. Hopefully I can keep this up, up by 7:30, naps at mid day, bed before 9, me asleep before 10:30. If life could be so perfect. (Naps around 3 or 4 are TOO late.)
Unfortunately just because my husband is home, life didn't stop. I took the yesterday afternoon off. After dinner I was about to watch some TV with the kid, when I realized the dishes needed to be done, the laundry was piled up, and I still haven't cleaned the downstairs. Luckily my husband went to work today, instead of working at home, so I don't have to feel bad that his work at home workspace is covered in toys.
When's my vacation?
I need a free vacation... see goal #7, I'm trying to save our money. I'm so committed I'm going to stop buying Challenge butter and go back to Smith's brand. Ahh, challenge oh how I love that moose (I don't know I doubt its a moose, maybe a stag).


  1. so today I have hit my breaking point and reading this made me feel not so alone in my feelings... thanks for sharing and I'm so glad he made it home early!!!

  2. Oh I so am dreading having a new baby...good bye to the little freedom I had...WhO will take care of the 4 I already have when I have to worry about the newest one? Can I already have postpartum before having the baby?

    I think you handled the weekend without your husband splendidly... you can now do anything! I hope you get your vacation someday before the butter gets more expensive and you have to switch to blue bonnet!

  3. A mother's first solo trip to the store with two in tow makes her a hero! Really, it's a monumental accomplishment. And you did it smack dab in the middle of temporary single parenthood. That makes you a superhero!

    I hope you feel really proud of yourself--because you should.